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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  October 26, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT

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$7. you can find out much more on that and everything else that we have been covering on our website. you can see our top story there, the earthquake in south asia that's killed hundreds of people. more on that and everything else on ♪ the fighting and dying continue in syria, so people continue to climb on to any boat that floats trying to make the increasingly perilous journey to countries in the european union. they have met an inconsistent and ambivalent welcome in europe, but that hasn't dissuaded the desperate from gives it a try. running away from home. it's the inside story. ♪
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welcome to "inside story." i'm ray suarez. when this crisis began, you might have thought the nations of the european union, in the interest of the e.u. itself of its citizens and of the people fleeing syria, might have found a joint and coordinated response by now. it seems every time any e.u. creates some consensus it's gone in a day or two, as the realities of huge crowds of desperate people, of borders, rivalries and train stations overwhelm any careful diplomatic language. our correspondent reports from slovenia. >> reporter: 15,000 is the number understood to have come through slovenia in the last 24
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hours. that is a record number that this country has had to accept. so those 400 police officers will be a welcome addition for -- as far as the slovenian authorities are concerned. places to provide good protection for the refugees from the weather, especially given that the winter is pressing in here. this camp behind me is one of three on the slovenia croatia border. eventually when space is freed up further down the line, they get moved on. but what you get is these bottlenecks. and one of the places they are being kept in a meadow, and last
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night conditions there were dire, and volunteers were telling us they were being restricted with providing them with warm food. eventually at about 2:00 or 3:00 am they were able to feed two train loads of refugees. but four or five came through last night. >> joining me is the european union ambassador to the united states. welcome to the program. >> thank you. >> is the e.u. closer to a comprehensive formula, or is it still deeply divided? >> i think we are moving closer to finding a comprehensive solution to what is an extremely complex problem. leaving aside the tragedy happening in syria driving people out of their homes and onwards to europe, and we have to bear in mind the human suffering that lies behind this,
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is of course the constantly resolving problem. a few months ago it was the med -- mediterranean. now we find new challenges coming along the land route through the western balkans, involving a large number of countries, some of whom are not members of the european union. the purpose yesterday was to get everyone around the table and try to have a coordinated approach which respects the needs and requirements and humanitarian needs of the refugees and puts some order back into the situation in terms of controlling our external borders, and helping the refugees be processed in humane conditions. >> but at several junctures it seems for us watching from the outside world that there seemed like something like consensus emerging, and then one nation or
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another says we don't want to take these people, or we'll take this kind of people, but not this kind of people. someone goes off side. >> well, we are 28 democracies, governments are entitled to express their views. i think if you imagined a similar situation in any other part of the world there would be a lively political debate about how to achieve this. but you have to look at what was achieved yesterday. people have agreed to coordinate, not take actions without consulting or informing their neighborhoods. we have agreed to put in place transit centers for people so they are held in decent conditions, because this is evolving not just in time but now in climate. because the climate is now becoming more difficult for the refugees. and i repeat this is a global problem. the european union has been the significantest biggest donor of
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refugee camps. we have been very active in trying to find a political solution to the problem in syria. so this is certainly a challenge for europe, but to be frank, i think it is a global problem. >> well, having said that, usually does the european union think the united states ought to be doing more? >> i was testifying on the hill last week on the subject. we're extremely grateful for what the united states has done. they have been extremely supportive. they take a large number of asylum seekers on resettlement, we would be very grateful if they could take additional numbers, but we know they won't take numbers that will dramatically change the challenges we're facing in the region. i think we need to work together. the united states is also a major door of humanitarian assistance to the e.u. countries. i think we need to combine our pressure to make other countries
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step up, other arab countries -- because one of the great problems the underfunding in the refugee situation in lebanon, jordan, and turkey. the agencies are underfunded by about 60%. and we really need to try to find a solution to the syrian problem. events on the ground in syria over the last few weeks, have certainly been fuelling some of the additional movement we're seeing. >> i understand these are democr -- democracies, but from this side of the atlantic, some of the response has seemed slow, uncoordinated, bloody minded. the prime minister of hungary wouldn't let these people move on to the next country, and we're saying if he doesn't want them, why doesn't he let them go? it seemed like it was very tough
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getting the cars hooked up as the train pulled out of the station on this one. >> let's be clear, we are -- the european union has responsibility for certain aspects of this problem, but the main responsibility lies at the foot of our border states. so it's not surprising that it has taken a little bit of time to coordinate it. but i really want to emphasize the enormous humanity and compassion which has been shown throughout europe. people have opened their homes. they have opened their school -- their schoolhouses, their townhalls. people have been out finding food and clothing and shelter for refugees. of course some people have said some things. but i think the overwhelming response has been compassionate and responsible. but we're dealing with
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unprecedented numbers which are causing our systems simply to seize up because we can't cope. how do we mobilize additional resources to help countries cope better with this situation. and we will need to learn some lessons for this for the future in terms of a more coordinated response. >> and the syrian civil war shows no signs of abating. are you working with the assumption that the longer the war goes on,he greater percentage of these people who may inevitably stay in europe once it is all over? >> i think the first thing is to try to bring peace to syria and get a political process there, which gives the people of syria hope for the future of their country. the second is to try to improve the condition of the people in the immediate neighboring countries, so they don't feel the need to try to come to europe in the depths of winter. what will happen to those in
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europe, i think it is quite likely, that a very high proportion will end up staying, and immigration always brings more benefits than costs, and this could turn out to be a benefit for europe, but we have to think of the tragedy of the people suffering, walking along difficult paths, carrying children, exposed to the elements, and we have to try to find a way of dealing humanely and compassionately with their situation while recognizing that we do need some process for handling this, we cannot have people just walking across frontiers in europe. so that's what we tried to do yesterday. >> the european unions ambassador to the united states. thank you for being with us. when we come back is the world inching closer to an response to the heavy flow of refugees. angela merkel is assuring many of her people that many of the
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refugees will go back once there is peace in syria. will they? running away from home. it's the inside story.
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♪ welcome back to "inside story." i'm ray suarez. greece has been on the e.u.'s front lines in the refugee crisis. it plans to avoid building camps for the swelling ranks of refugees. instead moving people into
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rental housing. at the same time, the greek government fears unless europe pace for improvement in the camps closer to syria, hundreds of thousands more will head across the eastern mediterranean. 75,000 have headed into slovenia. joining me now to continue our look at europe's handling of the crisis, are my guests. you heard the e.u. ambassador just before credit the union with the work it has done. do you agree with his passing grade that he gives himself. >> he's an ambassador so he is supposed to advertise the e.u. a little bit. i can try to criticize him a little bit. i should think that it is difficult and dangerous, even to talk about the european union as one entity. i think we should be aware of
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the fact we have fundamentally two europes today. we have the member states, national governments, and we have supernational institutions. what we have seen so far is a constant pattern whereby institutions in brussels have been moving faster, earlier, better in a more coherent way than member states, and we have seen the member states lagging behind, and not sticking to the pledges they have made. not adhering to what they said they would have done, and being fundamentally behind the curve. >> we have also seen sometimes inexplicable things like refugees stopped by countries that don't want them, when the next country over is saying let them through, we'll give them transportation. we'll pass them on to the places they are eventually going to settle. why has it been so hard to get a
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coordinated response? >> i think many countries in eastern europe do not have a tradition of asylum. they have been faced with a major influx in a short time, and political grandstanding has taken precedence over a more rational and humane approach to the refugees, which some of the population did exhibit much more nicely than their governments. >> is the ambassador right that there have been many stories of individual generosity, kindness, compassion, care, given these desperate people in very bad circumstances, at the same time as there has been confusion, political grandstanding, as you say, and other reactions that maybe, when this is all over, europe won't be so proud of? >> well, yes, we have seen these images of confusion and distress, and contradictory statements. at the same time it is not an easy problem to resolve.
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i think we're starting to see some moves in the right direction with figures being announced of people who would be relocated of promises eventually to start resettlement, and we have seen an announcement for support to turkey. i think all of these are moves in the right direction that need to be amplified. >> in is not a new story. this is a story that has been building up inside europe for years now, pope francis who didn't just take the thrown, his first trip outside the italian peninsula was to lampedusa to see where refugees were coming ashore. in spain transshipment of people trying to get up on to the
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peninsula. it has been something that has been happening for years. why the crisis management that we have seen? >> indeed. this is something that has been building up for a long time. one should give credit to the european commission in brussels, because since 2014 they have been putting a lot of focus on this issue. on the other hand they were not getting political traction with the member states, so it was not able to implement its proposals. we should look for a grand bargain if you wish now. one that seeks on the one hand to close what is europe's grand call -- callander, greece, if you will. and to have a comprehensive refugee. >> gentlemen stay with us.
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why are so many choosing to take their chances on the terrifying ocean journeys, only to end up standing in chilly rain in the fields and roadways of eastern europe. mostly men, but also women and children decide the place they are trying to reach at great risk offers something the place they are, simply does not. how do they make this calculation? and what can the world do to slow or stop these dangerous journeys if the war in syria continues? stay with us. h us. >> as the ice caps recede... and the ocean opens up... how can we protect our natural resources? >> this is what innovation looks like. >> scientists reveal cutting-edge technologies... >> you can look beyond the horizon and extend your reach. >> that could avert disaster while helping save the planet. >> i feel like i have a front row seat for some very dramatic changes.
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welcome back to "inside story." i'm ray suarez. as we get deeper into autumn, and closer to winter, refugees looking for a way out of syria, will face an even tougher journey, rougher seas, rain and snow, bone-chilling nighttime temperatures. in austria, officials say thousands are sleeping out in the open through these cold
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nights. in greece authorities say two more migrants drowned last night. the menu of choices seems pretty bad all around. the war in syria, makes more refugees each day, and that seems far from over. my guests are still with me. you heard matteo mention a grand bargain, have the outlines of one emerged? do we at least have something that is taking shape? >> there are some elements that are coming up, and i would hope they would take shape soon, and i think it should include the following. the first is to fund fully the humanitarian appeal of the united nations agencies which have been funded at a lower level year after year. it was funded 70% three years ago, it's now at barely 40%. so the basic needs cannot be met. second, most of these refugees are not in camps.
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that are spread out amongst the local population. they were received with welcome arms in the beginning, but think price of rent has increased and the price of food has increased and refugees are not allowed to work. all of this has created increasing tensions with local host communities, and i think this is something we should address by a massive development program for neighboring countries that look into providing education for children and providing livelihoods that would benefit the refugees and their host communities. it's the only way to make life for refugees more bearable. i was in turkey recently, the government would quite prefer to have them on the long run, but they said where is the international community. >> if a grand bargain emerges in the e.u. will that become a
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magnet for people who are deciding whether to pick up and leave? >> not necessarily. i think it would bring together those members of the european union that want to see this flow, and welcome asylum seeker. one would be about implementing properly legislation that pertains to a common european asylum framework. a second element would have to do with humanitarian aid itself, the provision of coherent and well-funded humanitarian assistance is where the crisis lies. this syria and in neighboring regions in the middle east. the third and final element would be securing borders, making sure that those that entered the european union do so in a well-organized clear
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manner. the european commission has been pushing for these three elements to be put in place, and across the three of them, the member states are not delivering. >> the ambassador gave me a very diplomatic answer. has the united states stepped up to its either implied or understood obligations in this area? >> well, the u.s. was for a very long time the leader in humanitarian aid. as i said, the figures have increased over time, but they haven't caught up with the needs. i think more should be done in this respect, and this is certainly something worth taking up with the u.s. the problems of resettlements that have been talked about are good. they should take place. but we should not have illusions that the numbers, even the highest numbers are met, which i doubt that they will, they would not solve the problem, but they
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would create hope. >> the united states, we should remind people has been talking about 10 or 15,000 people. >> it is an increase over what is done. i think depending on how it goes, it will grow. and we'll have to look how it works, but we hope it can grow. i also hope european countries will take people for resettlements, therefore offering an orderly way to depart, and we hope that at one point the gulf states will start giving a hand. this is a world crisis. it's in a very sensitive part of the world, and we need more partners in the effort to respond. >> is the united states doing its share? >> no, unfortunately not. it's doing far too little. the number of refugees that will be allowed will be up to 100,000 over the next couple of years. we have to think in reality the numbers are likely to be lower, because the asylum seekers will have to be screened and brought to the united states, so the numbers are likely to be lower.
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also the elections are coming up. this will be not be something easy to do political. the united states could therefore, pump the money into the region instead. it can deliver more in terms of money rather than what it can offer in terms of refugees and asylum seekers. >> i want to thank my guests, the president of refugees international, and a fellow at the brookings institution. i'll be back in a moment with a final thought on people on the move everywhere. stay with us. it's inside story.
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with so many people in so many places on the move, fleeing the central african republic, rohingya muslims running from myanmar. and many more, it would be a good idea to remember one thing. most people would be happy to find a way to continue to live in their hometownsor home countries. it's the home of everything they know, family, friends, schools, churches and mosques, fields and herds, cafes and grocery stores.
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during a time we have been arguing about immigration, legal and illegal here in the united states, we tend to forget how hard it is to leave everything you know, and start from scratch somewhere else. you have got no contacts. you don't know the language. you have no way of earning a living. your children will enter a bewildering foreign school. the refugees leaving syria have been talked of as a threat by various countries, but don't let that distract you from how victimized and vulnerable they are. many have been ripped off at practically every stop as they made their way from wrecked towns and refugee camps. they are a challenge to a cluster of the most affluent societies on earth and onces that pride themselves on their decency and generosity, and most
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of those societies right now would get a great of incomplete. i'm ray suarez, and that's the inside story. ♪ this is al jazeera america. live from new york city. i'm tony harris. [ sirens blaring ] >> deadly earthquakes, central asia rocked by nature's fury. the search for survivors and the struggle to get help. warning could cause cancer, bacon and deli meet in the same category as tobacco. th> we know statistically that


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